I Really Don’t Want To Talk About Politics. No Seriously. I Don’t.

By
Real Estate Agent with North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate
http://actvra.in/Kjl

Shut MouthBlogging 101:  If you want to be a popular blogger for the right reasons, it’s best not to blog about certain topics.  Especially religion and politics.  Good advice.  Frankly, I choose not to blog about politics or religion or any other extremely personal topics.  Besides, there are already gazillions of other topics to write about anyway!  And, when it comes to sensitive and highly charged topics – for me – it doesn’t stop at blogging.

Neutral Business Networking 101:  This very same, self-imposed censorship also goes for bathroom breaks during seminars and lectures, networking events, plus any other 'meet and greet' professional environments.  Obviously, with the name of our next President being decided in a few short weeks, the state of our Country and the outcome of the election are on the minds of most Americans right now.  Of course, we all have our own political viewpoints.  However, when it comes to politics, I prefer not to debate the issues with people I've just met.  Yep, I think I'll just keep my insightful opinions to myself.  So, why is this such a difficult concept for some people to understand?

"Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat?"  C’mon guys – does answering this question ever truly have a happy ending?  “Somebody Save Me!" or "Oh Geez, Please Don’t Ask Me That Question!” are probably just two of the desperate responses that quickly come to mind.  Well, now you know precisely how I feel when a business 'acquaintance' begins chatting about political affiliations, candidate agendas, or the last four years.  In my experience, these types of discussions can easily become heated, they rarely seem to conclude amicably, and feelings may sometimes get hurt.  Plus, as with the dress scenario referenced above – once a statement leaves your mouth  – it's out there.  Forever.  Something to think about the next time you're sleeping on the couch.

"Just When I Thought I Was Out … They Pull Me Back In."  Remember when Al Pacino delivered that line in The Godfather III?  Once in awhile, after I tell someone I really don’t want to talk about politics, we’ll slowly start to converse about other things.  Then suddenly, wouldn’t you know it – we’re back to politics again!  Trust me, when I say "Let's not talk about politics," I really, really, mean it.  Perhaps I need to express myself a little differently:  "Being pulled into a conversation which I recognize may be potentially filled with nothing but rhetorical landmines could be detrimental to our relationship – and my health."  Whoa!  I'm sure nobody would want to talk to me about anything after uttering that statement!  I suppose I should keep working on it.

Why don't we chat about something a little more innocuous?  Like sports, for instance.

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carie shapiro

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Rainmaker
153,231
Morris "Bill" Austin
Team Price Real Estate - Dripping Springs, TX
Exceptional service is my standard expectation.

I have seperate email, blog, posts, twwitter for the "off business" topiics.

Bill

Oct 18, 2012 02:59 AM #74
Rainmaker
172,995
Sonsie Conroy
I serve buyers and sellers everywhere in San Luis Obispo County - San Luis Obispo, CA
Energetic, Enthusiastic, Knowledgeable Realtor

I agree with Carie. That doessn't mean that I don't work to suppoort my favored issues and candidates, or discuss politics with friends who are not involved in my business life. But why risk alienating a client by discussing something so fraught with danger and bad feelings?

I will make an exception if the client brings up an issue or candidate that we agree about. I still don't like to make that the topic du jour, but I will express my opinion briefly and then hope we move along.

Oct 18, 2012 03:06 AM #75
Rainer
132,865
Rob Renk
Center Street Lending - McKinney, TX
AE | Fast Fix/Flip Loans for Residential Investors

Great insight into the human condition..  Politics and Religion don't usually mix in new company.

Oct 18, 2012 03:35 AM #76
Rainmaker
1,262,134
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

I've given this a lot of thought and come to the conclusion that I'm better off NOT trying to do business with people who believe so strongly in a socialist economy that they're going to rant about it.

I don't bring up the subject with clilents, so don't know how most feel about political questions. Meanwhile, if anyone asks I don't hide my belief that we need smaller government and more freedom. I believe in the free enterprise system, not handouts.

This election is critical to our future, so if anyone asks me why I don't support the current administration's policies, I'll tell them.

And no, my beliefs have nothing to do with race. Pelosi and Reid are very white - and I wish they were out of office.

Oct 18, 2012 03:47 AM #77
Rainmaker
827,622
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent!

Politics and beliefs are a personal thing and does not need to be discussed with a perfect stranger.

Oct 18, 2012 04:32 AM #78
Rainer
17,789
Mary Padilla
YES! Realty - Albuquerque, NM

It is so hard to remain neutral on either topic with clients, but I mostly do try.  The problem with me is, having a strong Social Work background seems to open up conversations more easily with people.  My buyers and I often become very "chummy" and sometimes these ideas and opinons are just natural transgressions of that friendly replationship.  Just two weeks ago I had a buyer couple client ask me, "Are you religious?"  Wow!  Well, I am not hiding my spiritual relationship with anyone.  So, I answered truthfully and then turned the topic to something about them.  Sometimes you just have to share your truth!

Oct 18, 2012 05:17 AM #79
Rainmaker
1,221,880
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Stay completely clear of this subject. It's even worse with religion I think.

Oct 18, 2012 06:12 AM #80
Rainer
283,902
Dimitri Matsis-REALTOR® (818) 599-6083
Troop Real Estate Inc. Westlake Village CA - West Hills, CA

Lol Carie,

Being that you live in Dallas (Cowboy country) and the fact you appear well informed (3 most heated subjects Religion, Politics and Sports) it cracks me up you’d find sports discussions harmless.

I do agree with you on staying away from political discussions, especially on election years/months like right now, is a good idea.

Thank you for the post.

Oct 18, 2012 06:45 AM #81
Rainmaker
234,177
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

I agree with you as a rule.  However, this year it seems that no matter who you talk to the subject of politics keeps raising it's ugly head.  I try to keep my views to myself but sometimes I just can't.  I feel I would be less than fair to myself if I was hypocritical enough to agreee or disagree with someone just to retain a client.  I have lost a few in the past because of it, but you know what, it was worth it because they wanted to change my views to theirs and I wasn't about to compromise my own principals to make a sale. 

Oct 18, 2012 08:26 AM #82
Ambassador
840,684
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

It never solves anything, nor will you change anyone's mind.  People get so heated about the entire thing.  It's too much and I pray that we can all survive this election and still be civilized people.  

I; however, do agree with number 66's comment and whether anyone believes it or not, this is the worst that a standing President has been treated...period.  We are all lucky that we live in a Country that allows such disrespect of a President...I think that other Countries think we are a joke because we are so torn over our own leaders and we berate them.  It doesn't make us look United at all and we need to be no matter who we choose for office.

I served in the military for many years and I had many leaders that I did not agree with, however, we had a mission and needed to come together to accomplish that no matter what our personal feelings were in the matter.  This is what America needs to do.  We need to heal as a Country and bring solutions..no more finger pointing and name calling..it accomplishes zero and again, makes us look like fools.  No matter who is chosen for President, we need to come together as a people and fix our problems..

free from Hate and Fear...and start acting like Grown Ups.  

Oct 18, 2012 09:15 AM #83
Rainmaker
301,797
Carol-Ann Palmieri
RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group - Franklin, MA
"Cal" the Real Estate Gal

Hi.  I can't believe it took me so long to come along to this blog!!   Well said, well written, and... I will say no more.

Oct 18, 2012 09:41 AM #84
Rainmaker
294,853
Paddy Deighan JD PhD
TimeshareLawyers.pro - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

 I agree...I had to ask an agent/broker to take me off of his email list because he sent so many strong emails about his political views. You will alienate half of your list by doing this...in these polarized days!!

Oct 18, 2012 09:13 PM #85
Rainer
277,707
Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

Not on Facebook, not in a store, not anywhere.  It is just not worth it. 

Oct 18, 2012 09:59 PM #86
Rainmaker
1,376,558
Joyce Kelley
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

I would never personally choose a client or friend by their political views, I have respect for people that don't hide behind issues just because it may not be another view. It amounts to letting someone know that this or that may be harmful to them. Then as a grown up let them decide.

Would you not tell someone that the guy they are dating is murderer

Would you not tell someone that smoking is harmful to their health

Would you not tell someone that here is why this candidate may not have their best interest at heart. If someone actually read the entire Health care act they really see a difference in this election. I read it (took 3 days) and it would scare you to death.

BTW did you know that the federal income tax was created to pay for WWW 2 and was suppose to end at the end of the that war. Did it.

 

 

Oct 20, 2012 02:29 AM #87
Rainer
61,364
Sharon Sanchez
Ace Home Realty - Carson, CA
Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate.

I totally agree. That's a good way to keep the peace and get the business if you're talking with a client.

Oct 20, 2012 03:07 AM #88
Rainmaker
487,031
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

You have to pick and choos what you say to whom you say it to. Politics and religion are not first on the list. Those are hot buttons that will bring out the best/worst in most people.

Oct 21, 2012 06:12 AM #89
Rainer
84,087
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

Carie - I think this is great advice.  The only time I talk about politics or religion with people is when I know them, and then only if they hold the same opinions as me.  Otherwise, as you described, it's a landmine!

Oct 22, 2012 12:45 AM #90
Rainmaker
1,427,186
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Many a times here in the Rain and other places when people say what they are peddling is not Political or Religious it is.

One thing you can say to people is, "Things will pick up after the election."  They all think their guys is going to win and make it better.

Oct 22, 2012 09:37 AM #91
Rainmaker
1,376,558
Joyce Kelley
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

People should respectfully agree to disagree and get beyound it. Intellegent people can do this about anything.

Oct 23, 2012 08:28 AM #92
Rainmaker
488,934
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise, Meridian, Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I don't bring it up and don't blog about it, or even do much commenting about it on facebook or anything like that.  I'm not afraid to talk to a client about it if they bring it up, but I'm never the one to begin the conversation. -Kasey

Jan 17, 2013 01:03 PM #93
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